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Archive for May 3rd, 2011

Shut Nuclear Plants: Electric Power Co Stockholders

Posted by feww on May 3, 2011

Japan’s Electric Power Companies Shareholders Call for Nuclear Plant Closures

Shareholders of five electric power companies in Japan are demanding the utilities to decommission their nuclear power plants following the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi power plant, NHK reported.

Reactor 3 at TEPCO’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi NPP is seen in this frame grab  from a video clip shot by an unmanned helicopter on April 10, 2011. Image by TEPCO/Handout

Some 400 shareholders of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which operates the Fukushima NPP, have submitted an official petition calling for the abolition of the company’s nuclear power plants.

“Shareholders of at least four other power companies—Kansai Electric, Chugoku Electric, Kyushu Electric and Tohoku Electric—have made similar proposals.” Said the report.

The move follows a similar action by a group of 232 shareholders of Tohoku Electric company who submitted a motion on Monday calling for the company to abolish its nuclear power plants, Japan’s JiJi press reported.

The group argued that the risks of operating nuclear power plants far outweigh the full extent of liabilities that any single company could afford, and urged the company to decommission its nuclear power plants and to withdraw its investment in the spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plants, the report said.

“The power companies are expected to examine the proposals and submit them to a vote at their annual shareholders’ meeting. The meetings are typically held by the end of June.” NHK reported.

Death Toll from the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami 

Meanwhile, Japanese authorities released that following data for the numbers dead or missing in the March 11 Mega quake that struck Tohoku region in northeastern Japan:

  • Total number of people dead or missing:  25,536
  • Confirmed dead in 12 prefectures:  14,728*
  • Number of victims identified so far: 12,509 (Source: NHK)

*The figure includes victims of two deadly aftershocks on April 7th and 11th.

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April Tornado Stats

Posted by feww on May 3, 2011

 U.S. Tornado Outbreak Statistics – April 25-28, 2011

  • Three-day Total: 362 twisters touched down between 8:00 a.m. EDT April 25 to 8:00 a.m. April 28, 2011. (NOAA’s preliminary estimate) 
  • One-day Total: 312 tornadoes during a 24-hour period from 8:00 a.m. EDT April 27 to 8:00 a.m. April 28  (NWS estimate)
  • April Total: 871 tornadoes  (SPC estimate for April 2011)
  • YTD Total: 1,036 twisters have been reported between Jan 1 and April 30, 2011 (preliminary)
  • The largest number of tornadoes on record previously:  148 tornadoes on April 3-4, 1974.
  • “The April 26-28 period had the most people killed by tornadoes in a two-day period since April 5-6, 1936, when 454 people were killed, mostly in Tupelo, Mississippi, and Gainesville, Georgia.” NOAA reported.
  • “April 27, 2011, is the deadliest single day for tornadoes since the March 18, 1925, tornado outbreak that had 747 fatalities across 7 states (including the Tri-State Tornado). “
  • The Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado caused at least 65 fatalities (Many are still reported as missing). This tornado had a maximum width of 1.5 miles and a track of 80 miles.
    • Most fatalities from a single tornado in the United States: 80 people were killed in a tornado in southern Kansas, including 75 in Udall, Kansas on May 25, 1955.
    • The deadliest single tornado in the United States:  695 people were killed in the Tri-State tornado that struck Missouri, Illinois and Indiana on March 18, 1925. [This figure should be treated as an estimate. FIRE-EARTH]

List of the Largest Tornadoes in April 2011 (preliminary)

  • EF5: 2
  • EF4: 11
  • EF3: 21

[Note:  All numbers are based on combined NOAA and historical research records and current fatality estimates. The historical research records extend back to 1680.]

APRIL 2011 Stats


HAIL:  2,054
WIND: 3,294

The April 27  super-cell storm spawned an estimated 312 tornadoes, breaking the previous record of 148 set in 1974 by more than 210 percent (164 more twisters).

U-S Tornado Deaths 1875 – April 2011

Click images to enlarge.

U.S. Tornadoes Since 2000

NSSL image of April 27 tornado outbreak storm rotation tracks

Bright reds, oranges and yellows show tracks of where rotation was strongest as detected by NWS Doppler radars during the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak. Source:

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Heavy rain, flash floods for Ohio, Mississippi valleys

Posted by feww on May 3, 2011

UPDATE: The first levee at Birds Point has been breached, just after 10 p.m.  

‘Heavy rains driving flash flooding and river flooding to record levels’: NWS

Torrential rain is forecast  for today in parts of 11 already soaking states:
  • Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.
Heavy rain is also forecast Tuesday and Wednesday in parts of 6 states:
  • Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

More than 4 inches of rain is forecast in SW Indiana, S. Illinois and W. Kentucky and about 5 inches in central Arkansas, NWS said.

Five-day precipitation forecast (NWS)

Click images to enlarge.

Weather Hazards Map (NWS)

Weather Forecast Map

Flash Flooding

“Flash Flooding is expected today in an eight-state swath from east-central Texas to southwestern Ohio. The area also includes southeastern Oklahoma, most of Arkansas, southeast Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana, southwest Ohio, western Tennessee, west-central and northern Kentucky. Rain and thundershowers are forecast from central Texas to the eastern and southern Great Lakes. Heavy snow is possible in north-central Washington and light to moderate snow is possible for south-central Wyoming, central Colorado and north-central New Mexico.” NWS said.

Flooding Rivers

Mississippi, Ohio Rivers Still Rising; Cairo Evacuated

The Army Corps of Engineers have reportedly completed the preparation stage and are ready to blow a hole in Birds Point levee in Missouri by 12:00pm local time.

This photo shows natural overtopping at the frontline levee on the Mississippi River on the Birds Point New Madrid Floodway.
(Photo: Southeast Missourian/reader submitted).

Once the levee is breached, water at a rate of about 550,000 cubic feet per second will divert from the Mississippi River, causing the water level in the river  near  Cairo to drop by up to seven feet, a report said.

The intentional breaching  of BP-NM floodway is expected to flood more than  130,000 acres and about 200 properties in Mississippi County, Missouri, “and will be devastating to farmers and agricultural businesses in and around the floodway. The floodway has not been placed in operation since the 1937 flood.”

Cairo, Ill. Satellite Image

Small city of Cairo (at center of this astronaut photo) sits at the confluence of Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. “Flooding of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers presents a continual danger to the city; this danger is lessened by the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway that begins directly to the south of the river confluence. During major flood events, the floodway lessens flood stages upstream (such as at Cairo) and adjacent to the floodway. Part of the extensive levee system associated with flood control of the Mississippi River is visible in the image. Barlow Bottoms (image right), located in adjacent Kentucky, is a wetland bird-watching location that is replenished by periodic floods and releases of Ohio River water.” Astronaut photograph ISS012-E-15035 was acquired January 12, 2006. Source: NASA-EO.  Download large image (583 KB, JPEG)

Blowing a 2-mile hole in the levee

The corps plans to blow a 2-mile hole at the southern end of the floodway to drain the water from the farmlands about 24 hours after the first round of detonations,  a report said. The detonations are set to began by midnight Monday.

Flood Zone. Frame grab from an abc news clip. Click image to enlarge.

“Public safety remains the No. 1 issue for the corps of engineers,” the Corps commander said.

“[The levee] continues to be under enormous and unprecedented pressure,” he added. “The Cairo gauge has gone up a foot and a half since yesterday. It’s going to continue to rise.”

“This doesn’t end this historic flood,” he said. “This is just the beginning.”

Missouri farmers on the flood plane are extremely anxious. They fear their lands would be destroyed by toxic sludge after the floodwaters have receded.

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UPDATED @ 03:31UTC, May 3, 2011

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